1. The House Appropriations committee has voted to fund the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the National Endowments for the Humanities (NEH) and the Arts (NEA). This defies the president’s budget proposal which called for the elimination of the agency and endowments. Your advocacy efforts matter, and it’s time to keep the pressure on!
The Republican-led Senate will weigh in on the endowments’ budgets, too, but that process probably won’t accelerate until later in the year. After being passed by the House interior and environment subcommittee last week, the bill – which includes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and others as well as the cultural agencies – was approved on Tuesday by the full appropriations committee by a vote of 30-21.
2. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing in the UK has released a report with case studies showing that the arts can be a prescription for good health. The full report along with podcasts, videos, and policy briefings is available online.
GPs prescribing arts activities to some patients could lead to a dramatic fall in hospital admissions and save the NHS money, according to a report into the subject of arts, health and wellbeing published after two years of evidence gathering.
3. Carissa Dougherty writes “whether at individual institutions, in partnership with others, or as a museum community we need to start seeing museum staff as an untapped, coveted audience and treat ourselves accordingly.” Cheers to that! The article was published in March, but Museum Hack recently selected it as one of the top three essays in its museum thought leadership writing contest.
We museum folk spend a lot of time courting, cultivating, and analyzing our audiences. We ply donors with wine and canapés. We win locals over with free admission days. We tempt members with behind-the-scenes tours. We appeal to teachers with professional development workshops. We host late-night dance parties for Millennials.
4. And now for something completely different… Why indeed is the Freer Gallery of Art blasting sculptures with dry ice? Get ready for some science!
Conservationists at the Freer Gallery of Art are blasting sculptures by Augustus Saint-Gaudens with dry ice. Here’s why. ( ) This museum is blasting precious sculptures with dry ice. But why?
5. The final pick this week talks about how museums in Chicago continue to offer more engaging programming in the evenings to be more accessible for local audiences after work hours. This isn’t exactly new news, but I like how the article focuses on local audiences rather than the usual millennial age-based targeting.
The Field Museum, on this particular weeknight, was hopping – at least in the section of it that had been transformed into a cocktail lounge decorated with stuffed and mounted birds of prey, a life-size T. rex skull and more.
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